The Family Secret is the first book in the gripping drama series Promises in Sand. The setting is the idyllic southern Norway in 1806, a historic turning point – with elegant dresses and romantic promises – where ships sailed the Seven Seas, and the consequences of the Napoleon wars were felt by rich and poor alike.
Amalie grows up poor, but she appreciates the little she has, and her heart beats for those with even less. In secret, she takes of her family’s limited stock of food to feed children who starve. She is living with her parents in a cosy, but draughty, shipper's room. Her father got badly injured as a seaman at a young age, and is struggling to get work that pays. Her mother grew up in a well-to-do family, and she wants better for Amalie. In secret, she tries to get Amalie into the upper-class circles, so her daughter can find a rich husband.
Blissfully unaware of her mother's scheming, Amalie keeps running into the town's finer gentlemen and ladies. As the clerk at a posh hat-maker’s shop, Amalie is all too familiar with how arrogant and superior they can be. When a beautiful comb disappears, Amalie gets the blame. Amalie is certain she knows who took it, but when she confronts the woman a Mr. Wickfall comes to the woman's defence. Amalie and Mr. Wickfall end up in a hefty fight. Although she cannot risk losing her small, but essential, income, he has nothing to lose. As their roads continue to cross, Amalie quickly understands that he has the power to ruin her future – and no scruples in doing just that.
All the while, dark secrets lay hidden in the past, and soon Amalie's life will take a drastic turn. What are her dear parents keeping from her? Who is she really?
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